Teen Tweeter Won't Apologize to Dissed Kan. Governor
'I raised my kids to be free thinkers,' says mom of Emma Sullivan
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2011 1:36 AM CST
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback: his aides tattled on Emma.   (AP Photo/John Hanna)

(Newser) – A Kansas teen who blasted her conservative governor in a tweet is refusing to apologize—even though she has been ordered to do so by her school. "Just made mean comments at Gov. Brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot," Emma Sullivan, 18, tweeted to pals during a speech by Gov. Sam Brownback at a Youth in Government event. In fact, she didn't diss him to his face, but was "just joking" with friends, she explained later. However, Brownback's aides, who monitor tweets about their guy, complained to Sullivan's school, reports the Kansas City Star. But Emma is defying her principal's orders to write a letter of apology. "I would do it again," the self-described liberal told AP. "I've decided not to write the letter but I hope this opens the door for average citizens to voice their opinion and to be heard," she tweeted.

Sullivan has received letters from attorneys eager to represent her in court, but so far, her principal says the issue is a "private," not public, matter. Sullivan is particularly upset that the governor decided to veto the Kansas Arts Commission's entire budget. "I think it would be interesting to have a dialogue with him," Sullivan said. "I don't know if he would do it, and I don't know that he would listen to what I have to say." A spokeswoman for Brownback has said the teen's comment "wasn't respectful," and that mutual respect is critical for "constructive dialogue." Emma's mom says: "I raised my kids to be free thinkers. If she wants to tweet her opinion about Gov. Brownback, I say go for it and I stand totally behind her."

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Showing 3 of 92 comments
Nov 28, 2011 3:36 PM CST
I would wager money that this guy is the exact type of person arguing that bullying isn't that bad and that those being bullied should "man up" and deal with it. Yet these people go and tattle to the principal. In whose mind did this make any sense at all and how could they not know this wouldn't backfire?
Nov 28, 2011 1:56 PM CST
You raised your kids to be free thinkers, but you didn't see the need to improve their vocabulary? Based on the intelligence of her tweet, I would say she wouldn't even be able to tell you the actual dollar amount that was cut. She is a perfect Occupy Wall Streeter. Get her a tent.
Nov 28, 2011 1:48 PM CST
It looks like a fair number of Kansas folk agree with the kid. From the Urban Dictionary: Brownbackistan (N): a pseudo-Christian fascist state where the arts are not publicly funded, women's reproductive rights are relentlessly attacked, public school funding is drastically cut, voter suppression laws make it nearly impossible for new voters to register to vote, and social services are turned over to evangelical "Christian" groups, all done with the backing of the Koch brothers.